I am presenting you all with one of the most illuminating and forward thinking articles I’ve ever read entitled ‘Want Your Children To Survive The Future? Send Them To Art School’. The author of this article, Dustin Timbrook, talks about a ‘Post-Work’ world (which many economists and futurists are predicting) where most jobs become obsolete due to automation from growing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing and Robotics. But what is even more interesting, and very much the heart of this article, is that when this does occur, then our creativity will be all that is left. Yet it is interesting how in today’s world the ‘Arts’ are becoming an increasingly maligned sector. Art schools are currently in danger of becoming exclusively the preserve of people who can afford to pursue an ‘arts career’ and more and more focus is put on STEM subjects. In the context of today’s world this is understandable and there will be an ever increasing demand for computer programmers and website developers (‘coding’ is the current buzzword) and workers in growing technology sectors. But what happens when there comes a time when we are just not needed any more for any jobs? I often think of the inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity prediction for 2045 when Artificial Intelligence will become on par (and subsequently more and more advanced) with human intelligence (our logical intelligence)? Suddenly we will all have lots of time on our hands (yippee!!!) and be able to put all our energies into things that interest us and that we are passionate about. It will be our creativity which will be king in this new world.
Being an artist has always been viewed as an ‘unstable career choice’. In a way, to quote Picasso, every child is born an artist. Every child is born with an innate sense of curiosity and wonder. To quote Timbrook (from a TED Talk he did in 2015), every child is ‘born weird’. But the problem is that traditionally (and today) this ‘weirdness’ and curiosity would be stifled and suppressed by the child’s parents who were (understandably) fearful of their children becoming outsiders or ‘drop outs’. By moulding them more in sync with the mores of current society, they would lose all their unique qualities and go on to do jobs they had little to no interest in doing. A recipe for a repressed and unhappy life. Yet by allowing a child’s ‘weirdness’ and sense of wonder, curiosity and creativity to flourish you are enabling a child to develop not only unique skills and traits, but gifts it will one day be able to present and share with the world and even contribute to making the world a better and happier place to live in.
Just underneath Timbrook’s article, I am also enclosing a You Tube video of his excellent TED Talk, which continues on the themes covered in his article.
by Nicholas Peart
8th May 2016
(All rights reserved)
Want Your Children To Survive The Future? Send Them To Art School by Dustin Timbrook
Creativity Is Not A Gift – TED Talk by Dustin Timbrook